I have been playing around with my Sense HAT, and I have bent 2 pins in the GPIO Header

My plan is to replace the GPIO Header (I have removed it without desoldering)

Is this a sensible idea? If it is, please provide me with a link (I live in the UK)

Note: I am not allowed to use solder

  • 3
    I'd try to bend it back first, carefully! Should be easier than unsoldering the header and replacing it.
    – Ghanima
    Jan 6, 2017 at 18:45
  • 2
    Make sure to disconnect the power first. Jan 6, 2017 at 19:17
  • 1
    "Is this a sensible idea?" -> Unless you have some snazzy equipment, you are going to wish you hadn't started trying after an hour or so ;) Which isn't to say it is impossible, just that it is far from easy.
    – goldilocks
    Jan 6, 2017 at 19:42
  • If you have an add-on with a header to go onto all the pins it will be helpful if you can get it back onto the almost straightened pins. The problems come about when the bend angle is, perhaps more than 45-60 degrees - the pin material gets weaker with an excessive bend and the danger is that it snaps when you try to straighten it. Should that happen though it might still be possible to salvage the situation by soldering the pin back together and use a spacer type header (one with long leads/pins the same thickness as the GPIO header) pushed on-top to provide a new set of pins to "use"...
    – SlySven
    Jan 6, 2017 at 20:21
  • @Ghanima I've tried to bend them back, but they are almost impossible to. I don't want to risk pulling them out either Jan 7, 2017 at 8:37

2 Answers 2


Desoldering a component with 40 pins is quite arduous without proper equipment and some experience. The trick is to heat all pins at the same time - a hot air gun comes in handy. Of course you wouldn't want the heat the PCB or adjacent components. Another way to remove the old header is (thanks to Steve Robillard) to use some cutting pliers to cut them into pairs then heat up the pairs and either pull or push them out. Again careful handling is imperative; cutting the header might damage the board. It could also be possible to heat single pins of the header (from the backside of the PCB) and pull them out individually. After removing all pins the pads and holes need to be cleaned with desolder braid or a small tool - Mr Robillard recommends a small drill bit or male header pin (not the round ones) chucked in a slow speed drill. Here's something about the "Slap Method" for through-hole rework (discovered by Goldilocks, thanks).

If you really want to go that way: it uses a standard 2.54mm (0.1 inch) headers (see here). They should be available at virtually any (online) shop that sells electronics components.

However, I would try to bend it back first. Be sure to disconnect power first (obviously). Using flat nose pliers (a small tool) it should be possible to bend single pins back.


I have figured out that I can use the Pimoroni Solderless GPIO Header (female). Here's the link for it : https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/gpio-hammer-header It (obviously) doesn't require soldering, and I can't solder, so this is my only option

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